"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat... I was in prison, and you visited me." By these words, as well as injunctions to give drink to the thirsty, clothing to the naked, and care for the sick, Jesus informs his followers the criteria for being welcomed into the kingdom.
It is not always possible to visit those in prison, but it is often possible to write letters which may bear witness to the love of Christ and lift the spirits of those who receive them. We have received a letter from an inmate at New Castle Correctional Facility in Indiana, who would like to correspond with a member of the church. If you are interested in participating in this ministry, please contact Pastor Bobbi.
Image: Gabriel Metsu, Man Writing a Letter, c. 1664-66, oil on wood panel, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
Beginning in November, we will be offering a book study on What to Say When You Don't Know What to Say: In Times of Grief, Heartache, and Crisis, by H. Norman Wright. If you've ever felt awkward in a funeral visitation line or other situations with someone who has recently experienced a loss or crisis, this book and our conversations together will help us to be better ministers to one another in times of grief and sorrow. Beginning Wednesday, November 8, at 7pm. If you are interested in participating and would like a copy of the book, let Pastor Bobbi know
he November offering from the Ventures in Christian Discipleship program at McPherson College will be “Meet the Matriarchs,” to be presented by Pastor Bobbi. The course will be held online Saturday, November 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Central Time).
In Matthew 22, as he is teaching the disciples about the resurrection to come, Jesus reminds them of his and their connection to their ancestors in the Jewish faith, describing God as “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” It is both a biological and a spiritual lineage to which Christians, Muslims, and Jews to this day lay claim. But the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, did not live their lives of faith and courage alone. They were partnered by powerful and faithful matriarchs Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah, as well as several additional women through whom the promise to Abraham was borne: Hagar, Zilpah, and Bilhah.
Each of these strong and powerful women is worth getting to know (better), not only through the scriptural texts but also through works of visual and literary art that they have inspired. In this course, we will spend time with the matriarchs as they have been envisioned in picture and word, with the hope of strengthening our faith and courage along the way.
Go to https://www.mcpherson.edu/ventures/ to register, and learn more about upcoming courses in the spring!
Alternative Holiday Fair is almost here- December 1 & 2!
As we prepare to welcome lots of visitors from the community, please be thinking about how you might help. Whether it’s setup & promotion before the fair, baking goodies for the bake sale, staffing a cash register or kitchen duty or sitting at a table visiting with guests- they’re all important opportunities to serve our church & community!
There are signup sheets available on the back table of the sanctuary & if you have any questions, please reach out to Laura or Evelyn.
In coming weeks, we'll be preparing boxes of Soup for the Soul for hungry local families, using Mary Link's recipe for 7-can soup. Shop the sales for canned white kidney beans, mixed veggies, corn, sliced potatoes, cut green beans, diced tomatoes, chili and vegetarian vegetable soup, as well as saltine crackers - and watch this space to learn more about how many boxes we plan to prepare and when they will be packed and distributed!
Letters for 2024 church offering pledges will be mailed soon. Please watch your mail. Related tentative dates include: Nov 12 pledges due, mid-November budget creation meeting, Dec 17 Council meeting to vote on budget.
Members for the 2024 church board will soon be sought. If you’re feeling called to serve on the First Church board, please speak with Pastor Bobbi or any board member (Allen, Joan, Evelyn, Bill).
Image: Emil Brack (1860-1905), Planning the Grand Tour, oil on canvas, private collection.
We give thanks for local restaurant Pita or Bowl for providing an evening meal for the Compass students recently. Please help show our appreciation by patronizing the restaurant! They have great Middle Eastern food at very reasonable prices. Pita or Bowl is located at 848 S Grand Ave E, and can be found on the web at https://www.pitaorbowl.com/. They also participate in DoorDash!
Please remember to bring some non-perishable items for the Kumler Food Pantry box in the entryway! Many families lost a great deal of food during the power outage after the June 29 storm, and need to replenish their larders. In addition, summer months can be hungry months for low-income families when their children are not receiving meals at school. Household cleaning supplies and hygiene items are also welcome, as every dollar a family doesn't need to spend on those items is a dollar they can put toward fresh produce and meat. Shop the sales and fill up our box! Thank you for supporting Springfield families.
First CoB Springfield is partnering with the Cerro Gordo CoB to collect quilts for the Maui wildfire relief effort. If you have a quilt that is in good, usable condition (doesn't have to be new), please bring it with you to church this week, whether when you come for your interview with Stan Dueck or on Sunday. Thank you for helping with this effort.
This past Monday, the NPR Illinois Community Voices program aired an interview with Pastor Bobbi by Bea Bonner about the upcoming local pre-event for the Parliament of World Religions (see poster below). You can listen to this interview at SpfldPoWRNPR.